An Auckland Vegan in Wellington

i love this city

I love this city, the hills, the harbour, the wind that blasts through it. I love the life and pulse and activity, and the warm decrepitude… There’s always an edge here that one must walk which is sharp and precarious, requiring vigilance.
Patricia Grace on Wellington: part of the Wellington Writers’ Walk


A reader asked if I had any vegan suggestions for Wellington. I have many! I’ve spent several bits & pieces of time in Wellington for work and other reasons over the last few years. I love the city, and it always feeds me well. If you’re visiting, here are a few suggestions:


a tower of tasty things

Brunch on Cuba Street: choose between several vegan options at Midnight Espresso including the hash stack pictured above, or if you want somewhere a bit quieter, stroll a couple of doors down and order the Vegan Works from Olive Cafe. Midnight is also open until all hours, and is the best place for a pre-show coffee or late night slice of cake.


wellington coffee

Coffee and second breakfast in Newtown at Pranah. The coffee is wonderful strong locally-roasted Peoples Coffee, and the food is all vegetarian with plenty of vegan options. I’ve never taken a good photo of their plum, banana and almond pancakes because I’ve been too busy eating them.


Whatever’s going at Deluxe. Ever-changing cabinet food always includes vegan options, and the coffee here is excellent too. Things I’ve eaten at Deluxe include salads, cupcakes, nori rolls, apple & blackberry tart & rice cakes. Deluxe is also known for being the original practice space of the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra, and is the setting for their Heartache video, which guest-stars a slice of vegan Apple Rhubarb Tart.


fake drumstick

Malaysian food. Aunty Mena’s on Cuba Street is the obvious recommendation: its all-vegan Malaysian and Asian menu includes a good mix of mock-meat classics like the faux chicken drumstick pictured above, and vegetable-based meals. But Wellington does Malaysian like Auckland does Thai food – it’s plentiful and delicious, and can usually be made vegan.



Book ahead for vegan High Tea. Tucked away at the very top of Cuba Street, Martha’s Pantry is run by two sisters and packed full of fine bone china, knitted tea cosies and souvenir picture teaspoons. Its high tea is popular and lovely, and if you book ahead of time they can prepare a vegan version. When I visited last year, this included little sandwiches, a dolma, scones with two kinds of jam, heart shaped bread with hundreds & thousands, a chocolate-nut creation and a huge strawberry dipped in dark chocolate and edible glitter. Erin’s photos show some of the spread.


we love you

Other favourites, not pictured. The Beijing in Newtown – an omni Chinese restaurant with a vegan-friendly page of vegetarian options on its menu, Nature Vegetarian Food – a Chinese fake meat place in Lower Hutt where I had the best wonton soup I’ve ever eaten, Chow at two locations in the city – little shareable plates of pan-Asian noms, with vegan options clearly marked – kimchi gyoza, for example.


wellington alley

Explore. Wellington is a fairly vegan-friendly place, and there are sure to be lots of options I don’t know about. I heard there was a newish Mexican place with good vegan options? A few places you could gather more information:


What are your best Wellington vegan recommendations? Please leave them in the comments.

10 thoughts on “An Auckland Vegan in Wellington

  1. Thanks for this! I’m going to be in New Zealand for a few weeks in November/December and am trying to put together a list of all the best vegan places to eat, so this post will be very helpful!

  2. Sweet Mother’s Kitchen isn’t particularly vegan friendly straight off the menu, but it’s quite exciting stuff – Tex Mex / New Orleans / Southern USA food – and in my experience they’ve been happy to veganise (and even charged me less for menu items sans cheese when they couldn’t replace it with something veg, which is always appreciated).

    1. That’s really good to hear. Last time I went there, a couple of years ago, the person serving me said that basically the only thing they could make vegan was a green salad. She also seemed a bit rushed so I suspected that wasn’t quite true & she just couldn’t be bothered checking with the kitchen or something. I left without ordering.

  3. Yay Wellington! Thanks for this, and your MoFo marathon 🙂

    Also Maranui, the Surf Lifesaving Club in Lyall Bay, and Queen Sally’s Diamond Deli round the corner – I think they’re both owned or run by the same folks as Deluxe, and always have vegan options, including several sweet treats.

    And Fidel’s on upper Cuba St has vegan food in the cabinet and on the menu – often a cake or two.

  4. The Southern Cross on Abel Smith st has labelled vegan options for all courses. Tulsi in Cuba St or the Curry Pot in Newtown (Indian) can make most vegetarian curries vegan on request.
    There’s a new bar/cafe in Newtown called Monterey, which supposedly has good vegan options, but I haven’t been there yet.

  5. I’m interested as to why, on a vegan page, you recommend a place ‘packed full of bone china’. You do realize what bone china is, right?

    1. Do you know, I had never made that connection before. I guess I had thought of ‘bone’ as being metaphorical – something about brittleness – I didn’t realise it had actual bones in it.

      When I wrote ‘bone china’ in this post (years ago!) I am not sure that I literally meant ‘bone china’ so much as ‘some kind of fancy old porcelain’. It could well have been real bone china – which wouldn’t be a reason for me to not visit or recommend the place, but I might not have mentioned it on my vegan blog!

      Ah well. I’ll leave it in the post now, as it may be useful for others to learn. Dear readers, here’s the Wikipedia page:

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